The Lone Star State takes its name from the icon on its famous flag, a flag whose story adds a unique dimension to the dramatic history of Texas. This beautiful book dramatically portrays the significance of the red, white, and blue standard with its single five-point star, the visual distillation of more than a hundred years of history.
In the flag's early incarnations, homespun cotton, ladies’silk dresses, and various other goods provided the materials used for banners to lead Texans in battle and in nation-building. Historian Robert Maberry, Jr., skillfully traces the use of the lone star symbol in the nineteenth century and describes in detail the various flags that have either incorporated it or used other symbols altogether.
Texas’ now-famous flag, Maberry has discovered, was not always a common sight in the state. Though it had been the national flag during the last six years of the Republic (1839–45), the original lone star flag was discarded in favor of the Stars and Stripes upon annexation in 1845. Indeed, by 1860 few Texans knew what their former national standard had looked like. During the years of secession and Civil War, Texans became reacquainted with the old flag, but they made relatively few copies of it, using the lone star emblem instead on the battle flags of the various units. When officials of the Confederacy mandated new “national” flags, Texans often modified them to reflect their own independent heritage.
The Texas flags pictured and described in this book were historical objects often of considerable artistry and, in many cases, ingenuity on the part of their makers in times of scarcity. Some of these historic flags still exist and remain sources of inspiration. Their stories, and those of other banners that have long since disappeared, reveal much about the cultural and aesthetic preferences of the age in which they were fashioned and about the political winds in which they were unfurled.
ROBERT MABERRY, JR., wrote this book as guest curator for the exhibition Texas Flags 1836–1945 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has also served as the director of the Historical Flags of Texas Project, a conservation effort sponsored by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission. His Ph.D. in history is from Texas Christian University, where he has taught U.S. and Civil War history.
What Readers Are Saying:
“. . . gorgeous coffee-table volume . . .” --Abilene Reporter News
“A companion to the current exhibition at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Texas Flags: 1836–1945, Texas Flags is a lushly illustrated record of the banners that have united and galvanized the citizens of the Lone Star State. From the Virgin of Guadalupe banner of the Mexican independence leader Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla to the Lone Star flags of the Republic years and the battle flags of Confederate units, the book documents the unusually rich history of the Texas pennants. The text by curator Robert Mayberry Jr., director of the Historical Flags of Texas Project, offers an engrossing overview of the state’s history.” --Publishers Weekly
“. . . a lushly illustrated record of the banners that have united and galvanized the citizens of the Lone Star State.” --Publishers Weekly
“Robert Maberry Jr.’s Texas Flags is a wonderful history of the many flags that have flown over the Lone Star state.” --Time Out for Entertainment
“Texans need have a copy sitting on their coffee tables and every library should have one. If there is a graduating student in your acquaintance with an interest in Texas History Texas Flags would be a great to kindle the flame to learn more.” --Mexia Daily News
“. . . flags in Robert Maberry’s book make Texas history vivid.” --The Victoria Advocate